The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 9th March 2018

Top Story

CPTPP more crucial than before amid rising protectionism
At 2am this Friday morning, Singapore time (3pm on March 8 in Chile), the remaining 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met in Santiago to sign a revised version of the trade pact, definitively overcoming the existential threat posed by United States’ withdrawal in January last year.  The pact is inarguably diminished by the loss of its largest partner. Yet the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which replaces it is nonetheless a significant achievement – and perhaps of greater importance than before, in the face of growing protectionism today.


Singapore Economy

Singapore corporates churn out mixed bag of results
There were some shockers that stood out over Singapore’s latest reporting season, but by and large, corporates churned out mixed cards while the sweet scent of dividend lay thick in the air, making it an extended “feel-good” Valentine’s season for some.  The varied bag of fourth-quarter results earned the stamp of “not impressive” from CGS CIMB Research. Its own tally had under-achievers outflanking out-performers 15 to seven.

Gap between large firms and SMEs continues to widen: study
The gap between Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprises and bigger firms widened further as SMEs continued to struggle while earnings at their more established counterparts reached for the stars.  This was among the findings of a study by DP Information Group (DP Info) and EY unveiled on Thursday at the launch of the Singapore 1000 (S1000) and Singapore SME 1000 (SME 1000) rankings.


Singapore Real Estate

Phase 1 of Nim Collection to be launched at average of S$2.8-S$3m
As the first developer to launch its private residential project this year, Bukit Sembawang Estates is releasing 30 out of 47 units in Phase 1 of its landed development, Nim Collection, with an average price of S$2.8 million to S$3 million.  The launch of the project on Saturday follows a recovery in landed home prices, marked by two quarterly price upticks in the second half of last year.

HDB resale flat prices fell in Feb, but number sold rose
Prices of Housing Board (HDB) resale flats dipped slightly for the second month running, but the volume of flats sold increased.  February’s prices fell 0.6 per cent compared with January prices, according to SRX flash estimates on Thursday. January prices had also fallen 0.5 per cent from last December’s prices.  However, there was a 9.6 per cent increase in resale flats sold last month – from 1,090 units to 1,195 units.


Companies’ Brief

Frasers Hospitality aims for 13 properties in Middle East
Frasers Hospitality announced plans on Thursday to double its Middle East footprint to 13 properties over the next few years as it seeks to capitalise on the growing number of business tourists to the region.  The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are expected to be the top three business travel markets in the Middle East, Frasers said in a press statement.  Bahrain has also seen a large influx of business tourists due to hosting large events like the World Islamic Banking Conference.

ARA unit to acquire 19.5% stake in Aussie real estate firm
A wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based ARA Asset Management will acquire a 19.5 per cent stake in Australian real estate firm Cromwell Property Group for A$405.9 million (S$416.9 million).  ARA will acquire the stake from South African-based real estate investment trust (Reit) Redefine Properties.  The sale will involve about 386.5 million stapled securities at A$1.05 per stapled security.

City Developments reveals stake in joint venture that clinched Sumang Walk site
City Developments (CDL) on Thursday revealed the proportion of its stake in a joint venture it formed with TID Residential (TIDR) to successfully clinch the tender for an executive condominium site at Sumang Walk last month.  The interest holdings of CDL and TIDR in the Sumang Walk property project are 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.  The site was clinched for S$509.37 million, or a record S$583 per sq ft per plot ratio.

Mandarin Oriental profit dips slightly on hotel renovations
British hotel management group Mandarin Oriental’s profit for the 2017 financial year dipped by 1 per cent to US$54.9 million on the back of renovations of both Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London as well as the Hotel Ritz, Madrid.  The mainboard-listed group’s chairman, Ben Keswick, however, said the group will benefit from the renovations in the long term.

Hatten Land issues US$25 million of 8% guaranteed secured bonds due 2020
Hatten Land on Thursday said it has issued US$25 million of 8-per-cent guaranteed secured bonds due 2020.  The guarantee is provided by Tan June Teng Colin, executive chairman and managing director of Hatten Land, and the security by Prolific Acres as chargor under the security documents.

UOL continues to buy more shares in UIC
UOL Group on Thursday said that its interest in United Industrial Corp (UIC) has increased to about 713.8 million shares or 49.8 per cent of UIC’s issued capital.  This followed the open market purchases made by its wholly-owned subsidiary, UOL Equity Investments, of 61,200 UIC shares on Thursday at S$3.3116 a piece.  UIC closed three Singapore cents higher at S$3.32 on the stock market.

Jardine Strategic’s 2017 earnings jump 50% to US$4.12 billion on higher property valuations and other non-trading gains
Full-year earnings swelled at Jardine Strategic Holdings for the 12 months to Dec 31, 2017 – fuelled by increases in property valuations and other net non-trading gains.  Net profit rose by 50 per cent on the previous year, to US$4.12 billion.  Jardine Strategic’s revenue for the year grew by 7 per cent to US$31.56 billion.

Hongkong Land net profit up 67% on fair value gains
A one-off gain from a change in fair value of its investment properties gave a fillip to results for Hongkong Land Holdings in its full financial year.  Net profit rose 67 per cent to US$5.59 billion for the year ended Dec 31, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on March 8 after trading hours.  This translates to an earnings per share of 237.39 US cents, up from 142.23 US cents in the previous year.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Be mindful nascent recovery in home prices doesn’t turn into runaway train
If anyone is in doubt that the property market is roaring back, he needs to look no further than last week’s tender for an executive condominium site at Sumang Walk in Punggol.  The tender drew 17 bids. Each and every one of them was higher than the previous record set in July 2013 for the Lake Life site in Tao Ching Road near Jurong Lake. The top offer for Sumang Walk was also 64 per cent higher than the winning bid for the Anchorvale Lane site in August 2016, which was the last EC tender prior to last week’s.

Significant HDB help for divorcees
With the backlog of flats for new families mostly cleared, the Housing Board has turned more of its attention to other groups. This week, it reversed a policy introduced 21 years ago to prevent couples from gaming the system and owning multiple flats.

Circuit Rd hawker centre closed for repairs after fire
A hawker centre in Circuit Road was closed for urgent repairs yesterday after a fire broke out at a food stall in the early morning.  Marine Parade Town Council said in a notice to patrons and stallholders that the food centre would be closed until further notice to facilitate urgent repair and repainting work.  The wet market stalls in the hawker centre are still open for business.

Sembawang, Punggol sports centres ready by 2021
The sporting landscape in Singapore is set to transform further as the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) rolls out more plans to create a more vibrant and thriving scene.  In her speech during the debate on her ministry’s budget in Parliament, MCCY Minister Grace Fu announced the building of a new sports centre in Sembawang.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Fed sees moderate inflation as tight job market boosts wages

Trump launches global race for exclusion from his steel tariffs

A trade war will hurt US: China warns

UK housing prices slide lower than forecast; fewer homes put up for sale

UK manufacturers plan stock buildup for Brexit

China Feb exports surge most in 3 years as global trade war fears build

Don’t bet your house on China’s property tax just yet

In China, retailers cash in on ‘she’ economy for Women’s Day

HNA Unloads More Land in Hong Kong as Selling Spree Picks Up

Nearly 5% of Vancouver homes deemed vacant amid housing crunch

Japan Q4 GDP growth revised up, BOJ in no rush to exit easy policy

Apartment prices in Copenhagen up despite tighter lending rules


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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